Motorboat & Yachting: BAE Systems has been awarded £13.5m to build 60 new lightweight rapid response boats for the Royal Navy.
The new boats are designed to be deployed from ship or shore for anti-piracy or drugs missions, or to perform rescue operations.
Travelling at speeds of up to 44 miles per hour, the boats can put a huge physical strain on their driver and crew, and have required extensive design changes to compensate.
The new fleet of RIBs are being fitted with shock absorbing seats to minimise the impact on crew members, and the change has the added benefit of allowing the boats to travel up to six-times further.
The seats are heavy, however, and designers had to find ways to cut weight elsewhere on the boats according to Ben Mason, project manager for the P24 RIB.
To make the savings, the boats are being fitted with a new, lightweight 370HP twin turbo diesel electronic engine.
“Since the engine is electronic, it means a lot of the heavy mechanical components have been removed,” Mason said.
Fibre-reinforced composite is also being used in the boat itself, according to Mason. The composite contains less epoxy resin than traditional polyester resin materials, and has a foam core, both of which help to reduce weight.
“The main weight saving comes through the production process,” he said. “The new P24s are manufactured from carbon and various types of glass, which are oriented in such a way as to give optimised strength to the boat.”
The RIBs will be built over the next four years at the company’s small boats manufacturing facility at Portsmouth Naval Base. They will be deployed on the Royal Navy’s Off Shore Patrol Vessels, and the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, which are due to arrive in Portsmouth in 2017.
Motorboat & Yachting: With less than 24 hours to go until the London Boat Show opens, Sunseeker has given an insight into the logistics of getting its 131 Yacht in place.
The Sunseeker 131 Yacht will be the largest model ever launched in London when it is unveiled tomorrow at the Excel Centre and the logistics of getting it in place have been considerable.
Sunseeker has revealed that it needed London City Airport to temporarily close a runway while their team manoeuvred the tri-deck yacht through King George V lock and onto its berth at the nearby Excel Centre.
And they would do well to keep the airport onside, as plans are in place to fly in potential buyers on an Airbus H135 helicopter for private viewings of the 131 Yacht.
Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker International, said: “I am delighted we are launching this special new yacht, the first – and largest – of four new Sunseeker models set to debut in 2016.”
He added that five orders for the 131 Yacht have already been placed by clients based all over the world. The Sunseeker 131 Yacht will be on display at the London Excel Centre from 8-17 January and tickets are available online now, with prices starting from £10 per adult.
In other Sunseeker news, the firm has announced that it will be expanding its latest recruitment drive to offer 225 new jobs.
Phil Popham, CEO of Sunseeker, said: “We are pleased to announce these recruitment plans which give a clear signal of the positive times ahead at Sunseeker. Our forward order book for 2016 and beyond is looking very strong, currently up 55% over the same period last year.
“Expanding our highly skilled workforce is a key part of our planned investment, and with the introduction of a number of new boat lines in 2016 we are able to recruit 225 new skilled staff to support future growth.
“This recruitment drive is underway and will conclude in the first half of the year, bringing our total employee number to around 2,150.”
Motorboat & Yachting: The much-awaited Sheerline 1090HT will finally get its public debut at this week’s London Boat Show, with a smart, modern interior.
Sheerline Motor Cruisers will be looking to turn heads at this month’s London Boat Show, as the Norfolk yachtmaker unveils its brand new model – the Sheerline 1090HT.
The new arrival boasts a much sportier exterior than you might expect from a Sheerline, complete with electric sunroof.
The updating continues on the inside, with the Sheerline 1090HT getting an island berth master cabin, which can be converted into a scissor twin berth.
Power comes from a single 300hp Volvo Penta D4, which means this 37ft semi-displacement hull will be just as comfortable tackling coastal waters as cruising serenely along the inland waterways.
Key features include bowthruster, Dek-King cockpit flooring, two-burner hob and Avonite work surfaces in the galley, and a cockpit fridge – ideal for entertaining in the evenings.
Prices start from £224,000 and the first production models should be ready for delivery in November.
Motorboat & Yachting: Fairline Boats could survive in the UK, after an offer to buy the insolvent boatbuilder is accepted by the administrators.
Fairline passed into administration last month with more than 300 jobs lost, but administrators FRP Advisory insisted that the business was initially being marketed for sale as a going concern rather than entering into liquidation.
We understand those efforts have since attracted at least two serious offers, one of which would see production remain in the UK. It is this offer that is thought to have been accepted, although no formal deal has yet been signed.
Both parties will need to go through the usual due diligence checks before finalising the terms of the deal. The original deadline for any offers was 15 January and it is hoped that a deal may be in place by then.
If it does go ahead it is likely to be a much smaller, leaner business building fewer models to order from a single UK site rather than a large scale resumption of the previous production boat building business.
However, this is still deemed to be a better bet for Fairline’s existing creditors, many of whom were also suppliers, than rival offers which may have been looking to move the business abroad.
It is not yet known how many of the 69 staff that have been kept on to finish the last models on the production line will be retained in the long run.
The news comes too late for the London Boat Show, which will be without a Fairline Boats stand for the first time in many years, but Fairline dealer Bates Wharf told MBY that it hopes to relaunch the brand at the British Motor Yacht Show in May.
Motorboat & Yachting: Up to 350 employees will lose their jobs at Princess Yachts as part of a wide-scale restructuring of the Plymouth-based yard.
Princess Yachts has announced that up to 350 jobs will be lost as part of a major restructuring at the Plymouth yard.
The cuts to the 2,000-strong workforce will be spread across back office, development and production divisions, the company added.
However, there will be no drop in production capacity, Princess claimed, due to the streamlined processes introduced with the launch of its latest models.
Chris Gates, managing director of Princess Yachts, said: “Today’s announcement of job losses, although not undertaken lightly, is designed to maintain the business in the best possible shape for the next phase in its evolution.
“Like all successful companies, we need to be able to adapt and adjust the constitution of our workforce periodically.”
The news comes just two days before Princess is due to unveil its new 75 Yacht (pictured above) at the London Boat Show.
Difficult trading conditions have weighed on Princess’s finances, with the company posting a £11.3m loss for the 2014 financial year.
However, the firm claims to have a strong order book, following positive appearances at the recent Southampton, Cannes and Fort Lauderdale Boat Shows.
The full statement on the Princess Yachts restructuring is as follows:
Princess Yachts is to undertake large-scale restructuring of manufacturing at its Plymouth headquarters, with the loss of up to 350 employees, the company announced today.
Having successfully weathered what proved to be a gruelling year for Britain’s yacht-building industry in 2014/15 – with factory closures, redundancies and insolvency among its competitors – Princess is looking to the new year with confidence and is implementing a range of long-term strategic measures designed to steer the business and its 2,000-strong workforce securely into the future.
With six new models across the M Class, S Class, V Class and Flybridge yacht ranges taking the company into new markets and sectors, and strong order books following good performances at the Cannes, Southampton and Ft. Lauderdale boat shows, Princess is entering 2016 with assurance and optimism.
Today’s announcement of job losses affecting back office, development and production divisions, while regrettable, forms part of a strategic plan to improve productivity across the company’s Plymouth facilities. Despite the tough trading climate from 2008 onwards, high staff levels had been maintained as the company evolved its infrastructure across key sites and invested in the development of new models. With the launch of the enhanced range this year, the workforce can now be scaled back without loss of capacity.
Princess’ ongoing investment programme will see its world-class range develop even further – and a number of new initiatives are under way to secure greater market share and brand recognition.
Princess continues to outperform the yacht industry in the face of unprecedented challenges. Persistent unfavourable euro/sterling exchange rates, recessionary pressures in target markets, and hurricane-force storms in 2014 that caused hundreds of millions of pounds worth of damage across the South West, meant that the company reported a modest loss – £11.3m on turnover of £239.5m – in 2014. (For context, Princess posted a profit of £4.8m in 2013.)
Chris Gates, Managing Director of Princess Yachts, said: “The strategic review of our business and the steps we are taking to improve production at our Plymouth headquarters have laid the foundations for an ambitious year. Our expanded range – with six new models launched in just six months – is the envy of the industry, and our continued commitment to the finest British materials and peerless craftsmanship will always set Princess apart
“We have invested heavily in state-of-the-art facilities and product development while our competitors’ businesses have been contracting, and we are proud of our commitment to Plymouth, having maintained a consistently high level of employment throughout the recessionary period. Princess’ 50th anniversary finds the company starting the year at both the London and Düsseldorf boat shows with new model launches and strong plans for the future.”
Practical Boat Owner: Sunseeker has announced that award-winning British actor Hugh Bonneville, and singers, The Overtones, will be their special guests at this year’s London Boat Show on Friday 8 January.
Hugh said: ‘I am really delighted to be joining Sunseeker to celebrate the opening of their stand at the London Boat Show; particularly with the momentous launch of its 131 Yacht.’
The 2016 London Boat Show will run from 8-17 January at ExCeL, London Docklands.
Motorboat & Yachting: This year’s London Boat Show will have a 60s revival area and the organisers have revealed some of the attractions in this new exhibit.
Visitors to the 2016 London Boat Show will have a chance to take a trip back to the swinging 60s with a new exhibit.
The 60s revival area was announced back in November, but now organisers British Marine Boat Shows have given us a bit more detail about what it will actually entail.
First up is one of the true icons of the 1960s boating – the Fairey Huntsman 28. A well-kept example of this classic boat will go on display, bringing Alan Burnard’s vision back to the London Boat Show.
On a more eccentric note, the 60s revival will also feature an Amphicar – one of the first examples of an amphibious vehicle, which was first launched in 1964.
As if that wasn’t enough, visitors will also be able to discover the Nomad, a two-in-one caravan and boat combi trailer that first emerged in 1963.
But perhaps the most exciting example of 1960s design on display is Charlotte, one of the original Princess Project 31 models that has been lovingly restored to celebrate the Plymouth yard’s golden anniversary.
She will be on display at Stand G120, where you can also see the modern Princess Yachts range that this seminal model inspired.
Advance tickets for the 2016 London Boat Show are on sale now, with prices starting at £10 per adult. The show runs from Friday January 8 to Sunday January 17.
Motorboat & Yachting: The long-awaited Sealine F530 will be getting its public debut next month at the Eurasia Boat Show in Istanbul.
As the follow-up to the much-feted Sealine F380, the F530 looked like a very exciting new model indeed.
And now Hanse has confirmed that the public unveiling of this new flybridge will come, not in London, not in Dusseldorf, but in Istanbul.
The Sealine F530 will be getting its worldwide debut as part of the Eurasia Boat Show, which is due to run from February 13-21 in the Turkish city.
Sealine adds that the large floor-to-ceiling saloon windows are already in place ahead of the show. The firm also plans to host another launch event at its Greifswald yard in Germany later on this year.
The new flagship model promises a class-leading top deck in terms of space, thanks to two chunky supports that hang over the side decks.
Prices and UK delivery dates are yet to be confirmed, but we expect to get more details as the Istanbul show approaches.